Windermere ferry

Important update:

After extensive assessments it has been concluded that Windermere Ferry requires a new engine and due to the specialist nature of this it could be up to October 2018 before normal service is resumed, although every effort will be made to bring the boat back into service sooner if at all possible.

This means that over the summer period there will only be a passenger service as provided by Windermere Lake Cruises. Sadly this is passengers only and is not suitable for cyclists or cars.

The alternative 'pedestrian' ferry service continues to operate at approximately 40 minute intervals from either side of Lake Windermere. The Cross Lakes Experience service sails from Windermere Lake Cruises' jetties in the heart of Bowness to Ferry House on the lake's western shore.

Departures are as follows:

Depart Bowness - 10.00am, 10.40am, 11.20am, 12.00pm, 12.40pm, 2.00pm, 2.40pm, 3.20pm, 4.00pm, 4.40pm 
Depart Ferry House - 10.20am, 11.00am, 11.40am, 12.20pm, 1.00pm, 2.20pm, 3.00pm, 3.40pm, 4.20pm, 5.00pm

Journey times are 15 minutes Bowness to Ferry House, 20 minutes Ferry House to Bowness

Single fares are:
Adult £ 3.10
Child £ 1.85

Windermere Lake Cruises Local Resident Discount Card Holders only pay 50p (single journey), holders of Windermere Ferry season tickets will be carried free of charge on this service.

Please note that this service will be unsuitable for cycles, however Windermere Lake Cruises will endeavour to operate a special Bike friendly vessel between Bowness and Ferry House on days when availability allows. To enquire if this extra service is operating, please contact Windermere Lake Cruises on 015394 43360 or visit their website We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause and are working closely with our partners to get the Windermere Car Ferry back in operation as soon as possible.


**Please note that all local visitor experiences and businesses remain open for business on both sides of the lake. Additional signage and diversion information has been placed on all routes in the area.**

Continuing a tradition


The Windermere Ferry has been operating for more than 500 years. The original craft were rowed across the lake, later ferries were steam driven and the most recent ones have had diesel engines. The current ferry 'Mallard' is the largest so far; a modern craft which carries up to 18 cars and over 100 passengers.

The ferry takes people, vehicles, horses and cycles across the lake, reducing traffic on the surrounding narrow roads and easing congestion and pollution. It also links the busy eastern shore of the lake and the peaceful countryside between Windermere and Coniston on the west, where there are many attractions and facilities for walking, riding and cycling.

In the summer months there is a minibus service between Ferry House and Hawkshead, calling at Beatrix Potter's Hilltop House. The ferry offers the opportunity to leave the car behind, cross the lake on foot and catch the bus, relaxing all the while and enjoying the scenery while someone else does all the work.

For further information on the Windermere ferry contact:

Schedule of Fares
Schedule of Fares Single £ Book of 20 Tickets £ Annual Contract £ Quarterley Contract £
Pedal Cycle (Including cyclists)1.0010.0030.00-
Moped, Motorcycle, Horse1.6016.0060.00-
All private vehicles and light goods vehicles up to 1.5 tonnes weight and up to 15ft (4.6m) long4.4044.00150.0040.00
Caravan, trailer4.4044.00150.0040.00
Goods vehicle from 1.5 to 8 tonnes weight (max) and up to 26ft (8m) long (max)7.8078.00265.0070.00
Minibus or coach with up to 16 passenger seats7.8078.00265.0070.00
Minibus or Coach with more than 16 passenger seats up to 8 tonnes weight (max) and up to 26ft (8m) long (max)16.30163.00750.00190.00


We try to operate a 30 min crossing but stoppages/delays such as slow loading/unloading and adverse weather/emergency services means we cannot guarantee the 30 min window. Shorter hours on January 1st. Blue badge holders who display a badge travel for free along with emergency services showing blue lights.

Contracts and discount books are available from County Hall or by phoning 0300 303 2992. 

See live images of the Windermere car ferry from the west side of the lake, courtesy of the Freshwater Biological Association.

Windermere ferry webcam